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Oliver Moore - Our lovable - Double THR - histiocytic sarcoma - possible soon to be amputee
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Member Since:
14 January 2014
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18 January 2014 - 7:20 am
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Hello – I have looked around this page a few times since we received the news that our 4 year old Berner Olli has histiocytic cancer in his left front leg.  I am so scared for him and am looking for any advice support we can get.

A note about our Olli,  he provides us with laughs on a daily basis and is the most lovable furball around.  He likes to sit on the couch like he is a person with his arm on the back checking out what everyone is doing.  If he wants to go outside and we aren’t fast enough he will take us by the arm and drag us to the door to let him out. If he feels like we aren’t giving him enough attention he will bite us in the behind.He talks to us constantly and makes noises like chewbacka(sp).  At 121 lbs he thinks he is a lap dog and given the chance will attempt and usually succeed at, climbing into our laps.

Olli has already had 2 total hip replacements in his short life and that is one of the issues that we are facing in deciding if going ahead with an amputation is worth it for him. Not for us but for him.

We had him in last week to do testing (ultrasound, lymph node & bone marrow aspirate) tonight we received the news that it had indeed spread to the lymph node in the armpit of that same leg. This really sucks as I’m sure many of you know.

Olli currently shows no signs of the cancer except for the lump on his elbow and limping on that leg.  He currently is on tramadol for the pain in his front leg. He has been on gabapentin for his hips for a while now (if he doesn’t take this he will do some chewing at his back leg) we were told this was a type of “phantom pain ”  from having the hip dysplasia for so long.

Does anyone have any experience with amputations of large dogs with hip replacements. I am awaiting a call back from the surgeon that did both of these for his thoughts of course but would love to have input from someone that has dealt with this before.

I hate having to have his leg amputated but if his chances are better that way and his quality of life will still be good, I can see going that route.  I am just concerned about his hip replacements being able to handle it.

Member Since:
14 January 2014
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18 January 2014 - 7:59 am
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1/18/14 - I started posting Olli's story last Tuesday I think.  I've kind of lost track with all of the questions, phone calls, web searches etc. 

We so love our gorgeous boy that this is so hard to do / decide  I am fairly certain we will decide to amputate his left front leg and have it done this coming week as the overall opinion of his oncologist, surgeon, & past physical therapist for his 2 THR's is that his hips should be able to handle it and this will give him best quality & quantity of life.  We want what is best for him, not for us.

Once we received news that it had spread to the lymph node in the armpit of the leg and the 3 of us sat in our living room not really saying much, not sure what each other was thinking. I decided to handle it in the way I knew best. Making a list.

I created a spreadsheet of all the questions I could think for each of the doctors, my family gave me more questions and I sent it off to the medical center for them to answer. They all called and went over every question with me.

Today I am updating and giving to my husband and daughter to look it.  This way all of the answers are right in front of us and we can approach it logically. (as best possible :-))

I also have a list of everything that I need to do, obtain & buy to prepare for him being a tripod and having to stay home and nurture him for at least a few weeks afterwards.

Everything from an outside ramp, harness, favorite dog food, new dog bed & scheduling which family member will be with him when.

The good thing is, Olli will be having this done at the same place as he had his THR's.  Olli is a favorite there and cries excitedly when he goes there, he loves everyone there. Admin's, maintenance staff, vet tech, vets.  

I will try to keep this post updated.  For now I am off to update my lists, start ordering the goods and preparing for Olli to be spoiled, as if he isn't enough already. 

 

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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18 January 2014 - 8:21 am
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Hi Ollie & Family, welcome! Thanks for joining, your future posts won't need to be moderated.

I'm really sorry to hear about the diagnosis. It seems that we've been having quite a few pups here diagnosed with histio, which is bad, but good in that you are in great company. One search for "histiocytic" here or in the Tripawds News Blogs will reveal other stories for you (sorry I'd give you the results here but I'm on my mobile).

In the meantime it's really awesome how you are so organized, and making decisions together with your family! Together you will all make great decisions with lots of love for your special pup. No dog could ask for more.

In the meantime, remember that he doesn't know any different, he just wants to feel better, so he will soon. Hang in there. If you can go through a THR you can go through amputation. From what others have said here, amputation recovery is a breeze compared to THR. Oh and by the way, do a search for "Murphy" in "Beyond Cancer" forum and you'll see his pawesome story about amputation and THR. His Momma is really generous with advice so do chime in there, she'd love to help I'm sure.

Good luck and thanks again.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
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18 January 2014 - 9:43 am
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Thanks so much - I think being organized definitely helps. For anyone going through the decision process and the actual surgery and recovery I think it also makes me feel like I have a little control over something we have no control over.

From what I am hearing I definitely am telling myself the same thing, if we can make it through his 2 THR we got this covered. I hate to see him going through anything of course but him not having the pain anymore and giving him a fighting chance will hopefully worth it in the long run. 

We wouldn't trade Olli for the world but we have definitely learned a few things since then.  

#1 -  NEVER buy a pet store puppy.  

#2 - Pet insurance is sometimes well worth it, especially with a purebred, we bought it for Olli and are really glad we did. 

We have 3 other elderly "mutts" and never needed many vet visits for them until they got older. 

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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18 January 2014 - 9:56 am
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Computer freezing.....posted on your blog...glad you posted here.

LOVE THIs dog...comp crash..back later...hang on your great!! LOVE Oli

Sally and Happy Hannah

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Livermore, CA




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18 January 2014 - 1:31 pm
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Welcome.
My little pug Maggie had mast cell cancer. We did lots of tests before surgery to make sure there was no spread. I told myself that if there was any spread I wouldn't do the surgery and just let nature take its course. AFTER her leg was removed the lymph node showed lots of cancerous mast cells- her prognosis with chemo was down graded to 6 to 9 months. The lymph system is one of the places aggressive mast cell cancer goes so for us it was a very bad sign.

I'm telling you this because if I had seen lymph node involvement before surgery I most likely would not have done the surgery. Maggie lived almost 4 years after her amp and did not pass from mast cell cancer.

Now I know not everyone is so lucky, and I don't know what positive lymph node involvement means for histiocytic cancer. But in hindsight I realized that I had given Maggie a chance. If I had not done the surgery there is no way she would have lived as long as she did.

Karen and Spirit Maggie

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Member Since:
14 January 2014
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21 January 2014 - 8:37 pm
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1/21/14 -That is what we have decided for Olli, to give him a fighting chance. He is scheduled to have his amputation done this Thursday. I of course am typing this with tears rolling down my face because like anyone else in this position I am so scared for him.
My daughter suggested that we look into donating his leg to a place that does cancer research so I have sent out a couple of emails and am waiting to hear back.
The next few days are going to be hard but we will all get through them.

Member Since:
14 October 2013
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21 January 2014 - 9:09 pm
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Hi there. My Rottie was diagnosed with Histocytic Sarcoma three months ago. We elected to amputate and when they removed her limb they also informed us that the disease spread to the lymph node. I'm here to tell ho KEEP THE FAITH (easier said than done) because the only sure way of knowing if it has spread passed the l.n is to check. Dymond is three months post amputation and she is doing remarkably well. Today she had her three month check up and there are no signs of cancer. The doctor and nurse were extremely surprised because with the type and grade of her tumor they believed the disease should have progressed rapidly.

 

This website has helped me SO much. Educate yourself and commit to being determined to fight this with your baby. I can tell you positivity has made ALL the difference. Dymond is just as happy now as she was when I brought her home. Sure we'll face challenges, but we WILL face them together.

 

If you have questions, please feel free to email me.
Prayers and Hugs,

Katrina and Dymond

On The Road


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21 January 2014 - 9:15 pm
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We will be thinking of you and Oli this Thursday. please let us know if you have any questions at all OK? And of course drop us a line and let us know how surgery goes, we'll be cheering you on!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

On The Road


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21 January 2014 - 9:18 pm
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Forgot to ask, what kind of pet insurance do you have?

Don't beat yourself up about buying from a pet store. You live and learn and now you have a great dog who is better off in your hands than who knows where he could have ended up. He's a lucky pup to have you!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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21 January 2014 - 11:17 pm
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Okay, you've got a plan! That's good!

ALWAYS remember, you are dong this FOR Oli---not TO Oli! You have made a decisin out of love and you are giving Oli a chance.
The professionals feel like Oli is a good candidate and that has to be reassuring.

I KNOW tis is such a scarey time. Emoti s are raw and the uncertainty is excruciating. Recovery is nopicnic for the first week or so. But once you see how well Oli adjusts to three legs and how good Oli feels havng that painful leg removed, you'll even forget how nervous yoj were! Well, almost.

That's a lovely idea to doante the leg for research. Very nice.

Be sure and put scatter rugs around if you have hardwoods. If you have a lot of stairs for in and out, you may want to consider a ramp. A realy good bed for large dogs is The Big Barker Bed ...click Amazon from here and it helps tripawds.com

And to help YOU prepare, stock up in chocolate! Get lots and lots of chocolate!! Some prepare with wine! Some prepare with bothwinker

Remember, you are not alone. We are all here for you. Post some more pictures when yo can! We love pictures around nere!

Sending you lots and lots of hugs!

Sally and Happy Hannah

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Orange County, CA
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28 November 2008
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22 January 2014 - 8:27 am
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I can't offer any advice, as we only dealt with osteosarcoma in my boy Max.  But I just wanted you to know I'm sending positive thoughts to Olli for this Thursday!!  We'll be keeping him (and you!) in our thoughts!!

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14 January 2014
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22 January 2014 - 9:32 am
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I will respond with more info later tonight as I am on mobile now. I just want to say before then, thanks so much everyone,
all of your responses definitely make me feel like we are not alone. Oh & per your recommendation Sally I did stock up on chocolate :-)

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22 January 2014 - 7:19 pm
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First of all I just want to say thanks everyone for all of the positive energy you have been giving me.  Tonight has been rough and I keep thinking are we doing the wrong thing & then we are doing the right thing.. Like being on a roller coaster and I don't like those.  Tonight when I came home from work, Olli was holding up his leg much more than he has been :-(. I think he is trying to say get this thing off of me enough already. 

Tomorrow will definitely be hard as I'm sure many of you know. I just keep telling myself to breath. I will probably be dropping him off by myself as my daughter has to work early today of all days. Figures right?

My husband cleaned for me so not too much to do in that arena.  I have created the recovery room as we did for each of his THR's.  I gave him a little more space to maneuver for this surgery though. 

His new bed came today, I checked it out, feels pretty comfy to me :-). His harness also came.  I ordered a help 'em up harness on the recommendation of his physical therapist,  I'll let everyone know how that works.

Does anyone have any thoughts on ramps vs. steps?

maximutt  - thanks so much - we can really use these.

benny55 -  it is reassuring that his dr.'s think he will do well.. We are all set to lock ourselves in as much as we can for his recovery time.  I have one more store run and we should be good. I have the first shift (I'm kind of used to it) I am working from home the first week .  

I'm sure that as soon my baby comes through the doors to come home and is crying and wagging his tail I will feel a little bit better. 

I do have scatter rugs & runners and am going to pick up some backing tomorrow to make them more secure.  We do have stairs and my son is going to build us a ramp this weekend. Hopefully we will manage the stairs until then because he weighs 120+ lbs and lifting him to take him potty is out of the picture.   The new bed came today - I ordered an XL from Amazon and did go through the site.

I did pick up chocolate per your instructions. I also have wine as a backup but as I am told I am a lightweight probably not a good idea to try to help out a newly 3 legged dog drunk :-)

I can post more pictures for sure,  how do I post multiples?

krun15 - exactly what I keep telling myself. We are giving Olli a chance.

jerry - We did have PurinaCares - $60 a month, included routine care with a $250 deductible. They were great - paid the 80% on Olli's THR within 3 weeks each time. They were sold to 24 PetWatch. They take a little longer to pay but so far so good.  Our policy with Purina is up in April so we'll see what happens from there.

Katrina - so glad to hear that Dymond is doing well.   Hopefully I will be able to say the same thing soon.  

I will keep everyone posted - thanks so much for all the input and positive thoughts. 

Tomorrow is a new day.

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9 November 2013
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22 January 2014 - 8:55 pm
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Hi there-

My lab Jake is 2.5 months post amputation of his rear leg due to a histiocytic sarcoma. Jake developed a mass on his leg over a year prior to his diagnosis. We aspirated the mass at onset but results came back clean. We only went to visit a specialist after Jake showed signs of pain/discomfort in his leg. Removal of the mass and histiocytic diagnosis led us to the difficult decision of amputation. Similar to Olli, the days before surgery Jake started to lift that leg a lot more than he had been.

The hardest part for us was making the decision. Yes the first 2 weeks after surgery are a combination of ups and downs but this community board will reassure you and provide first hand experiences to ease some of the stress. Jake's progress was also a big factor to making us realize we made the right decision. He is doing great, better than I would have expected and has been off all pain and anti-inflammatory drugs for over a month.

We wish Olli the best and send strength and quick healing his way!

Jen and Jake

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